The Emiratis though they may have moved into their extravagant cities have not left behind their traditions and culture. One such tradition of the Arabs of the UAE is the art of making pottery. Pottery has been unearthed umpteen numbers of times in the past decades during many archaeological digs in the UAE. It is proven that the tribes of the Emirates were expert potters about 4 millenniums ago.
The pots that were unearthed during these archaeological excavations have been preserved in the museums of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Al Ain. The Pottery of the ancient world that was discovered offers insights into the lives and the history of the people of UAE. Pottery found in burial tombs, is a sign that pottery formed an important part of the lives of the people.
Pottery is considered the oldest craft of the Emiratis. Though it may seem a craft forgotten and no longer in vogue, in these modern times, it is not the scenario in the Middle East, especially in UAE. There are professionals from many countries mainly from India who work in UAE making pots of different shapes, sizes, and structures. Different styles of pottery were practiced in various regions of the country. The different designs and the materials used are evidence of the different styles that were in vogue among the tribes of ancient UAE.
The pots found at archaeological sites also show evidence of the amount of trade that was carried on with different countries. The materials used for pottery was ceramic and alluvial soil. Ceramic was imported from the Mesopotamia, Iran, central Asia and the Indus valley. Pottery was also imported from countries like China, South East Asia, Iraq and Iran. Pottery was made locally in UAE with decorative patterns and with certain purposes like storing oil.
The need for potters in UAE arises from the love of the people for the craft and to stay in touch with their roots. Pots are also used as decorative items at homes. It brings with it an aesthetic and traditional appearance to the homes they adorn. The art is kept alive in UAE in many ways. There are classes that are conducted at various centers encouraging men and women who have time on their hands to learn the craft. Expert potters from many countries especially India and Pakistan are working in UAE keeping the skill alive and teaching those interested in learning this ancient craft.